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USCCB Migration Chairman Endorses Proposed Legislation That Gives Permanent Legal Protection to Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Holders

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration endorsed the American Dream andPromise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), legislation that would provide permanent legal protection and a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.

 “We need a permanent legislative solution for those who have spent their lives contributing and living in the United States,the country they know as home,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “Dreamers and TPS holders are vital members of our community who are going to school, working to make our communities better and raising families.They have lived in limbo for far too long and now is the time for a solution.”  

On Wednesday, March 6th, Most Reverend Mario Dorsonville-Rodriguez, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washingtonand a Committee on Migration member testified before the House Judiciary Committee at the hearing “Protecting Dreamers and TPS Recipients.” The full written testimony of Bishop Dorsonville-Rodriguez and the hearing can also be seen in its entirety here.

Please see the USCCB Committee on Migration letter of support here.

More information about Dreamers and TPS can be found on the Justice for Immigrants website.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Bishop Mario Dorsonville-Rodriguez, Committee on Migration, refugees,Dreamers, TPS, DACA, immigration reform

 

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Media Contact:

Mark Priceman

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Miguel Guilarte
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President of U.S. Bishops’ Responds to Today’s Mass Shooting at New Zealand Mosques

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement in response to today’s mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The full statement follows:

“I am deeply saddened by the senseless attacks at the Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed dozens of worshippers and seriously injured many others, including children. This slaughter of innocent Muslim brothers and sisters praying peacefully is being described as a terrorist attack carried out by a self-identified fascist and his accomplices. As the Catholic bishops of New Zealand said, 'we are particularly horrified that this has happened at a place and time of prayer.'

Unfortunately, we Americans are all too familiar with gun violence, which often targets religious communities. However, we must not remain complacent or desensitized to the horror of these tragedies.

I join with my brother bishops in New Zealand in expressing solidarity with the Muslim community and in calling Catholics to join in prayer for the victims of this shooting, their families, and the Muslim community that was directly targeted.

May almighty God change the hearts of those who hate to recognize the inherent dignity of all people and bring consolation to all those affected by this heart-rending loss.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, mass shootings, Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque attacks, Muslim brothers and sisters, terrorist attack, fascism , Muslim community, prayers, inherent dignity

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

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Bishops’ Conference Committee Chairman Welcomes Governor of California’s Declaration of Moratorium on Death Penalty

WASHINGTON—After California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on executions, Bishop FrankJ. Dewane of Venice, FL, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed gratitude for the decision as a step to further the recognition of the inherent dignity of all human life.

The full statement follows:

"We join the California Catholic Conference and all people of good will in welcomingCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom’s declaration issuing a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in his state. We are grateful and urge California lawmakers to take the next logical step to repeal the death penalty to bring a permanent end to this practice.  

“In his 2015 address to the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis called for 'the global abolition of the deathpenalty,' as he explained, 'I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. . . . [A] just andnecessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.' Today’s decision is a wise step in better orienting the criminal justice system to recognize the inherent dignity of all human life.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee onDomestic Justice and Human Development, Governor Gavin Newsom, California Catholic Conference, death penalty, moratorium, U.S. Congress, Pope Francis, human person, inalienable dignity, rehabilitation, criminal justice system, inherent dignity

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

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With Venezuela in turmoil, how one religious sister cares for the elderly

Caracas, Venezuela, Mar 13, 2019 / 07:00 pm (CNA).- Mother Emilia Rivero runs the Providence Nursing Home Foundation in Caracas, Venezuela. Even in ordinary times, caring for lonely, poor, and often forgotten elderly Venezuelans is not easy. And in Venezuela, where political unrest has heightened shortages of food, medicine, and water, these are not ordinary times.

“This is our charism, our work, to serve them, care for them, make sure that they have their food, are dressed, have clean clothes, have water, which has been such a problem,” the sister told Sky News March 2.

The elderly suffer the crisis in Venezuela acutely, as in some cases their relatives have fled the country, and in other cases simply find themselves financially destitute.

Some experts have estimated that the majority of Venezuelans over 60 depend on charity to survive, with the Catholic Church at the forefront.

The Catholic charities supporting elderly Venezuelans are themselves struggling for resources, especially since electrical blackouts began March 7 in many parts of the country.

Mother Rivero told journalists that many of the appliances in her nursing home’s kitchen, for example, no longer work, and the home has had problems getting water, especially since the blackout began.

Sky News reported that the nursing home where Mother Rivero serves can ordinarily care for 100 residents, but, due to the crisis, can accommodate now only 40.

Speaking to Aporrea TV in December 2018, the nun also clarified rumors about the deaths of the elderly at the nursing home. “Some people out there have said that the elderly here are starving to death. Thanks to benefactors, they can get their three meals a day, and we also welcome visitors who encourage them and bring them snacks.


“We have here at the nursing home 40 people, we also take in for lunch another 15 people, and some other people come for supper,” she added.

“We don’t have aid from any governmental institution” nor “do we receive money because they withdrew all aid,” the nun lamented, explaining that the nursing home she runs is sustained by donations.

According to CNN en Español, Venezuela has suffered blackouts for several hours for each week. While the Maduro government says the blackouts are caused by a cyber attack from the United States, experts have blamed an overtaxed and outdated electrical grid.

For his part, opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who also claims the presidency of Venezuela, said that 16 states in the country continue to be without electric power while six have partial service.

Guaidó indicated the private sector has lost at least $400 million because the power outages affecting Venezuela.

According to some media, the lack of electricity has also left t24 dead in the country’s healthcare facilities.

The blackouts have also resulted in a failed clean water supply in some parts of the country.

 

A version of this article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Northern Ireland anti-abortion law has saved 100,000 lives, pro-lifers say

Belfast, Northern Ireland, Mar 13, 2019 / 05:02 pm (CNA).- Efforts to protect the unborn from legal abortion in Northern Ireland continue despite efforts to bypass self-governance and go directly through the U.K. Parliament—efforts backed by a U.N. committee and pro-abortion rights politicians and groups.

Last month pro-life advocates marched on the U.K. Parliament in Westminster opposing any imposition of legal abortion on Northern Ireland. Ten women marchers each held a box symbolizing 10,000 people they say have been born because of laws that protect the unborn from abortion.

“100,000 people in Northern Ireland are alive today because Northern Ireland did not accept the same abortion law that was introduced into Britain in 1967,” Dawn McEvoy, co-founder of the Belfast-based group Both Lives Matter, said Feb. 26. “These people are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons. Abortion pressure groups have no mandate from us the people of Northern Ireland to impose abortion on Northern Ireland from Westminster. We urge the British Government to respect the people of Northern Ireland and our elected representatives.”

On March 9, several hundred pro-abortion rights protesters paraded to Belfast’s City Hall, calling for legal abortion in Northern Ireland. Some marchers accused British Prime Minister Theresa May of violating women’s rights. The demonstration aimed to mark International Women’s Day observed the previous day, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Abortion is legally permitted in Northern Ireland only if the mother's life is at risk or if there is risk of permanent, serious damage to her mental or physical health. Bills to legalize abortion in cases of fatal fetal abnormality, rape, or incest failed in the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2016.

Elective abortion is legal in the rest of the U.K. up to 24 weeks.

May has said abortion should remain a devolved issue for Northern Ireland, which has self-governing powers.

However, the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont is currently suspended due to disagreements between the two major governing parties: the anti-abortion Democratic Unionist Party, which has traditionally drawn support from Protestants, and Sinn Fein, which has traditionally drawn support from Catholics but has taken a strong turn towards permissive abortion laws in recent years.

The DUP is a member of May’s coalition government in Westminster at a critical time in British politics, amid much controversy over the U.K.’s exit from the European Union.

Amnesty International is backing changes to Northern Ireland abortion law.

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty’s campaigns manager in Northern Ireland, called on the U.K. government to introduce “abortion reform” legislation in Westminster without delay. In a March 11 statement, she said devolution “does not relieve the U.K. government of their responsibility to uphold human rights in Northern Ireland.”

The group welcomed the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women report published March 11.

The U.N. committee charged there were “grave and systematic violations of women’s rights” in the region and criticized the failure of the U.K. to “ensure women’s access to abortion services,” including decriminalization of abortion, on the grounds that it is a matter for Northern Ireland authorities. The committee cited the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which requires the Westminster Parliament to legislate as necessary to ensure that the U.K.’s international obligations are met with respect to Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s abortion law has been under increased pressure in recent years. Since abortion became legal after strong voter support in the Republic, abortion advocates have said “the North is next,” while pro-life advocates have said “The North Protects.”

Labour Party MP Stella Creasy had intended to propose an amendment to a draft domestic abuse bill to change abortion laws in Ireland, but the ruling Conservative government restricted the bill to England and Wales.

Creasy has joined MPs from multiple parties and more than 70 groups calling on the government to remove the restriction, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

“The Government has restricted the extent of this bill to try and avoid upsetting the DUP,” she said.

A DUP spokesperson said any attempt to change the law without approval of the Assembly would breach the devolution settlement allowing self-government in Northern Ireland.

“The government should respect the right of the Assembly to legislate on abortion,” said the spokesperson.

Fiona Bruce, a Conservative MP representing Congleton in Cheshire, England, joined Both Lives Matter in urging the government to reject any effort to expand legal abortion.

“Abortion pressure groups are trying to undermine devolution and impose change to abortion law for Northern Ireland,” she said Feb. 26. “This is bad for devolution everywhere and contrary to Government policy.”

“These extreme proposals are out of touch with the will of the Northern Irish people, and in particular women,” she said. “It is clear that a strong majority of Northern Irish women reject interference from Westminster and believe that this is a decision for Northern Ireland.”

Both Lives Matter cited the polling group ComRes’ online poll in October 2018 of 1,013 Northern Ireland adults. It found 64 percent said abortion law should be decided by the people of Northern Ireland and their representatives, not MPs from other parts of the U.K.

A Belfast woman plans to bring forward a personal challenge to Northern Ireland's abortion law to court this week.

In June 2018 the U.K. Supreme Court threw out a previous challenge to Northern Ireland’s abortion law, saying the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which brought the case, did not have standing to do so. However, a majority of the judges said that the Northern Ireland abortion law framework is incompatible with human rights laws insofar as it bars abortion in cases of pregnancy by rape or incest or in cases of fetal abnormality. The U.K. government has so far not legislated any change.

Northern Irish women have been able to procure free National Health Service abortions in England, Scotland, and Wales since November 2017.

Some members of the House of Lords are attempting to require that same-sex marriage be legally recognized in Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph reported March 1.

“In the absence of devolved government in Northern Ireland, there are members on all sides and in both Houses of Parliament who want to get this matter resolved,” said Conservative peer Lord Hayward, who with Labour peer Lord Collins of Highbury is backing such an amendment to the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths Bill.

“Westminster has already passed Northern Ireland legislation in the absence of Stormont, so we know that we can and should address the issue of marriage equality," Lord Hayward said.

The amendment would allow the Assembly six months to overturn the provision after the bill becomes law.

Saskatchewan government fights to fund non-Catholic students at Catholic schools

Regina, Canada, Mar 13, 2019 / 02:48 am (CNA).- The government of Saskatchewan in Canada is arguing that it should be allowed to pay for non-Catholic students to attend Catholic school, appealing a 2017 court decision that could force up to 10,000 students out of Catholic schools because they are not Catholic.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donald Layh first handed down the ruling in April 2017, saying that any provincial government funding for “non-minority faiths” would violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the state’s duty of religious neutrality, and equality rights.

Saskatchewan is arguing that its current model, whereby students of all faiths at Catholic schools are given funding, is religiously neutral, and that demanding religious proof to determine funding would not be religiously neutral, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

Saskatchewan is one of three Canadian provinces that partially fund Catholic school systems with taxpayer money. If it stands, the ruling could affect 26 other faith-based schools besides the Catholic schools, including a school for Muslim students.

This particular debate over school funding began in 2003, when the public school closed in the Saskatchewan village of Theodore. The public school district planned to bus 42 students to the public school in a neighboring village, but a group of Catholics petitioned the Minister of Education to form a new Catholic school division. The division then bought the old public school building and renamed it St. Theodore Roman Catholic School, CBC reports.

A local public school division filed a legal complaint against the Catholic school division and the provincial government in 2005. The complaint charged that the funding was unconstitutional and wrongly put the Catholic school in the role of a public school. Funding of non-Catholic students at the Catholic school constituted discrimination against public schools, the complaint said.

The lawsuit alleged that the community created the Catholic school division not to serve Catholic students, but to prevent students from being bused to another town to go to school, according to the Canadian site Global News.

Saskatchewan was given until June 2018 to follow the judge’s ruling, but instead they appealed and continued to pay for non-Catholic students to attend the Catholic school, Global News reports.

The government has said that if they lose again, they plan to counteract the ruling using a notwithstanding clause, which can temporarily override certain portions of the Canadian charter for five years, according to Global News. A panel of five judges in the court of appeals will have six to eighteen months to issue a ruling.

Both sides are expected to argue their case before the Court of Appeals this week.

 

USCCB Migration Chairman and CRS President Issue Statement Supporting Texas-Mexico Border Bishops’ Statement on Recent U.S. Government Asylum Policy

WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration and Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services issue the following statement in solidarity with the March 4th statement of the Texas and Mexico Border Bishops.

The full statement follows:

“Consistent with the Texas-Mexico Border Bishops’ March 4th statement, we oppose U.S. policy requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while waiting to access protection in the United States. We urge the Administration to reverse this policy, which needlessly increases the suffering of the most vulnerable and violates international protocols. We steadfastly affirm a person’s right to seek asylum and find recent efforts to curtail and deter that right deeply troubling. We must look beyond our borders; families are escaping extreme violence and poverty at home and are fleeing for their lives. Our staff and partners in Central America witness the suffering there and fight against it. Our government must adopt policies and provide more funding that address root causes of migration and promote human dignity and sustainable livelihoods. Like the Texas-Mexico Border Bishops, we recommit to Pope Francis’s call to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate our immigrant brothers and sisters in Christ.”

For more information on the U.S. government’s Migration Protection Protocol policy which requires certain asylum seekers to wait in Mexico please click here.
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, Committee on Migration, Sean Callahan, Catholic Relief Services, Texas-Mexico, Border Bishops, migrants, asylum, Immigration, Central America.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
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Co-Chair of USCCB dialogue with National Council of Synagogues Issues Statement Regarding Opening of Vatican Archives

WASHINGTON— Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Co-Chair of the USCCB’s dialogue with the National Council of Synagogues, praised Pope Francis’ recent announcement regarding the opening of the Vatican Archives from the wartime pontificate of Pope Pius XII.

“I am grateful to His Holiness for taking this welcome step and allowing scholars to examine the records of Pope Pius XII’s pontificate during the Second World War,” commented Cardinal Dolan. “Along with our Jewish partners and colleagues, I have previously called for access to these files. Today, we look forward to the 2020 opening of the Archives.”

In a March 4 audience with Vatican officials, Pope Francis announced his intention to permit access to the Secret Archives of Pius XII’s pontificate. The Pope set the date of March 2, 2020 for the official opening.

Pius XII’s papacy began in 1939, just months before the outbreak of the Second World War. Scholars, particularly those interested in Catholic-Jewish relations, have been anxious to examine Vatican files, especially those related to the war years and the fate of the Jewish community in Rome.

As a U.S. leader in Catholic-Jewish relations, Cardinal Dolan has actively called for the release of these documents since becoming Archbishop of New York in 2009. “Whatever is needed to complete this project, even in phases rather than only as a whole, I suggest must be explored,” His Eminence said in a speech at Jewish Theological Seminary in 2011.

“I echo Pope Francis’ sentiment that sincere historical research will present an opportunity to grow in public understanding,” reflected Cardinal Dolan. “I pray it will bring about a new era in which Catholic and Jewish scholars, who have deepened their trust and friendship, can continue working together to examine this important new material.”

Rabbi David Straus, Senior Rabbi of Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and co-chair of the National Council of Synagogues dialogue with the USCCB, echoed the Cardinal’s sentiments, saying, “We look forward to this new moment of openness, which will only build upon our previous work together, and, we pray, continue to strengthen our relationships, friendships, understandings of each other in our important work together. Our shared commitment to making the facts known can only serve to demonstrate the mutuality of respect and concern that is reflected in Pope Francis’s decision.”

For more information, please visit our website: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/index.cfm.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, National Council of Synagogues, Pope Francis, Pope Pius XII, Second World War, Secret Archives, Catholic-Jewish relations, Jewish community in Rome, Rabbi David Straus, Main Line Reform Temple

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Chilean cardinal addresses case of sex abuse in Santiago cathedral

Santiago, Chile, Mar 11, 2019 / 07:34 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago on Thursday denied knowing and giving  money to the complainant in a rape case in the cathedral which took place in 2015.

The Archbishop of Santiago gave an interview to Informe Especial which was broadcast March 7.

In the interview, he discussed a rape complaint against Fr. Rigoberto Tito Rivera Muñoz, who was found guilty in August 2018 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the sexual abuse of adults.

Rivera sexually assaulted Daniel Rojas Alvarez, who was then about 40, in a room of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral in 2015.

Rojas claims he told Cardinal Ezzati of the attack during a confession, and that the archbishop asked him to pray for the abuser, gave him 30,000 pesos ($45), and asked that he not asked him not to share what happened.

In the Informe Especial interview, Ezzati said: “I hear confessions in the cathedral, especially during the time of Holy Week, but I am not aware of having heard his confession, because I don't know him and still less am I aware of giving him a hug and telling him that a priest would give him some money in my name, that's not it, this is all very unfortunate, but that's not the case, I understand that he may feel what he feels, and I have complete esteem and all my affection for him, because of what he has suffered,” he said.

Asked if he ever had contact with Rojas, the cardinal said “no.”

Regarding the processing of the case, Ezzati explained that the complaint was received by the Pastoral Office for Complaints: “It came to the archdiocese a few days later and immediately the archbishop ordered a preliminary investigation.”

“Within a few hours and a few days later that the investigator, Fr. Walker, conducted a preliminary investigation, which he gave to me, I received a phone call in which I was told  that the Holy See had asked the nunciature to review [Rivera's] situation because of a complaint that had come to them. I don't know what complaint, so consequently I immediately sent all the documentation where appropriate.”

Regarding the time elapsed between the filing of the complaint and calling in the victim (to testify), Cardinal Ezzati pointed out that “in 2016 the investigation was already done. What also happened is that they were never able to get Daniel's address. Except toward the end, Daniel gave (us) his e-mail, and he was able to be able contacted there.”

Asked about his responsibility in the abuse scandals within the Church, the cardinal said that “without a doubt one of the tasks that has fallen on me, and very painful, very shameful, very humiliating, is to take in hand the cases that are being reported and have been reported.”

“What I can tell you with a lot of transparency and with a lot of peace, we certainly could have made some mistakes, we're not infallible, I'm not infallible, but that in all the cases that have been reported to the Archdiocese of Santiago, for which since 2011 I have been responsible, all, all the cases have been investigated, and all cases are investigated, and what people reported before then, and they are in the process of being resolved.”

Concerning the accusations for alleged cover-up of abuse in which at least ten priests are implicated, Cardinal Ezzati said that “the justice system has to determine that. I am very much at peace and  I am willing, and as I have always said, I am at the disposal of the justice system if they want to investigate and they have the complete freedom to do so.”  

Asked about a bill which seeks to take away his Chilean citizenship, Ezzati (a native of Italy) said it “that pains me immensely, foremost because I was granted citizenship by indult and the decree sets out the reasons.”

He said that “the authorities are certainly free to take the path they want” and “personally I think it's unjust, but I am going to continue to work as archbishop as long as the Holy See asks me to do so.”

“After (they do that), as a priest with no complaints about what I was able to contribute at this time in the history of Chile, whether as an educator or as a pastor, I am going to continue working because what I am interested in is not titles, but was I am interested in is people,” he concluded.

The Archdiocese of Santiago stated last week that it received a complaint of possible abuse of minors by Rivera in August 2011, but that during enquiries into the case “it was not possible to contact the complainant.”

The Pastoral Office for Complaints then received a complaint against Rivera from an adult in March 2015, which permitted the start of a preliminary investigation and the implementation of the precautionary measure of removing the priest from all pastoral responsibilities.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the request of the Santiago archdiocese, “gave new instructions to continue the preliminary investigation and to start an administrative penal process” in September 2016.

The preliminary investigation was closed in November 2016, leading to the administrative penal process which concluded with the Decree of Condemnation of Aug. 16, 2018.

The priest was declared “guilty of crimes against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue continued  over time and involving scandal, with adults, as is specified in Canon 1395§1 of the Code of Canon Law,” the archdiocese said.

Rivera was suspended from public ministry for ten years, “only being able to celebrate the Eucharist privately and with the company of a person over 50 years of age.”

He was also prohibited from “meeting with or maintaining contact with young people” and was required not to move anywhere.

Once the ten years are completed, if the priest does not comply with the measures, he risks “being suspended for a greater period of time.”

The archdiocese also noted that these four penalties were “among others.”

It concluded, saying that “besides the canonical sentence which was implemented  in September 2018, an exhaustive review was begun to clarify all the information that was made known publicly.”

Cardinal Ezzati has faced accusations that he was involved in covering up the crimes of other abusive priests, including Fernando Karadima and Oscar Munoz Toledo.

Catholic university to review Rosica work for plagiarism

Toronto, Canada, Mar 11, 2019 / 05:05 pm (CNA).- A Catholic university in Ontario, Canada, says it will review any published work by its former president and vice-chancellor, Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.

“In so far as Fr. Rosica has admitted that his published work has included unattributed material originally published by others, it is possible that what he published as President contained similar material. We will endeavour to determine if this is the case,” Richard Corneil, president of Assumption University in Windsor, Ontario, told the Windsor Star March 8.

Rosica served as president and vice-chancellor of the university from 2011-2015. In recent weeks, the priest has come under fire amid revelations of extensive plagiarism in his published articles, books, and speeches.

The priest, a long-serving English language press aide at the Vatican Press Office, and the CEO of Canada’s Salt+Light Television network, was reported by Life Site News Feb. 15 to have plagiarized sections of text in several lectures and op-eds from a variety of writers, among them priests, theologians, journalists, and at least two cardinals.

The priest apologized for plagiarism on Feb. 22, shortly after initial reports emerged.

“What I’ve done is wrong, and I am sorry about that. I don’t know how else to say it,” Rosica told the National Post.

“I realize I relied too much on compiled notes,” Rosica told the National Post, adding that his plagiarism was inadvertent and not malicious. He explained that “it could have been cut and paste,” apparently meaning that he had mistakenly included passages of text written by others in his texts without remembering to attribute them.

“I realize the seriousness of this and I regret this very much … I will be very vigilant in future,” he said.

Subsequent reports found widespread plagiarism in essays, speeches, and op-eds by Rosica, dating back more than a decade.

In late February, evidence emerged on Twitter that Rosica had also copied directly and without attribution the work of several theologians in a 1994 article he published in the theological journal “Worship.”

Liturgical Press, which publishes the journal, announced Feb. 26 "that the editors of Worship are retracting the [1994] article by Thomas M. Rosica because of plagiarism."

Liturgical Press subsequently retracted two additional articles published by the priest.

The 1994 article covers the same topic as Rosica’s 1990 licentiate thesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, leading some to raise questions about whether that text, through which the priest earned a pontifical degree in scripture, might also have been plagiarized.

Last week, the priest was discovered to have misrepresented his studies at the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem. While he had claimed to have a degree from graduate school, its director told journalists that while Rosica had been enrolled there, he had not earned a degree of any kind.

On Feb. 24, Rosica resigned from the Collegium, or governing board, of the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, and the governing boards of St. John Fisher College in New York and the University of St. Thomas in Houston.

On Feb. 25, Rosica acknowledged to The Catholic Register that he had plagiarized. “We know that plagiarism is wrong, especially when it is practised deliberately. Please note that my actions were never deliberate. Nevertheless they were wrong,”

While the board of directors at the the Salt and Light Media Foundation has acknowledged that Rosica’s plagiarism was wrong, board chairman Tony Gagliano said in a March 7 statement that board members “unanimously pledge our support of the continued leadership of Fr. Rosica as Chief Executive Officer.”

“For the past 16 years, Fr. Thomas Rosica has worked consistently with young adults on many media platforms and in multiple languages to offer experiences of unity, prayer, celebration, reflection, education, dialogue, thought-provoking reporting and stories of faith and action. This work must continue,” the board statement said.

The Knights of Columbus, financial supporters of Salt+Light, have told reporters that they will review and reevaluate their relationship with the media network.